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As tired as I am of gimmicky multi-tools, Allied’s latest offering — the FlipGrip dual jaw multi-tool — still caught my attention. Apparently “flip grip” means that the grip flips back to expose a dual-headed set of pliers at the center pivot point.

The pliers look fairly useable and are much less ridiculous than some others I’ve seen.   The Flip Grip also carries the standard array of saws, bottle openers and blades as well as a bit compartment in one of the handles that holds four screwdriver bits of various sizes.

The whole rig streets for around $20, and it actually looks a lot better than its name makes it sound.  In fact, when you play with one it brings back visions of high school when I spent hours trying to master a stupid butterfly knife — only the FlipGrip is a bunch more useful and probably wouldn’t get confiscated so quickly.

FlipGrip Multi-Tool [Allied Tools]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


18 Responses to FlipGrip: Flip, Grip and Pinch

  1. Fascinating! It’s similar to the SwitchGrip pliers that Radio Shack’s been carrying for a few years, but adds the typical multi-tool accessories in the handles. I think I like it.

    I don’t know if I like two sets of pliers, though. One set of pliers, and one set of diagonal cutters, strikes me as more useful. Still, it’s good to see manufacturers moving in this direction!

  2. Rob says:

    I like the idea of two types of pliers / tools in one and this design is not bad. I would have a pair of the Switch Grips that Nate mentioned except the fit and finish was so bad, I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on them.

  3. It’s funny, RadioShack’s own site had some embarrassingly bad reviews of the SwitchGrip pliers/cutters. Said the jaw alignment was poor, among other things.

    Maybe mine were from an early or late batch, before the quality went to crap or after it was straightened out, but I adore them. They’re not *precision* cutters, but they’re more than good enough for trimming tyraps and general work. I carry them in my backpack where size and weight preclude separate cutters and pliers.

    Perhaps it’s telling that none of the big multi-tool names have picked up this flip idea. I can see how it’d be a bit tricky to build a seriously strong flip joint, but I actually think the way torque is applied should make it *easier* to make fairly precise jaws that don’t skew one way or the other when they’re under load. Not unlike the “box joint” pliers I like so much!

    Whether existing flip pliers are crap or not, one thing’s for sure: I’d like to spend some time with more tools of this type, as hopefully the design gets improved and refined.

  4. ricHard Tymes says:

    I’ve carried them all(multitools), and I’ll tell ya this….Flip-Grip is one kick-ass great tool. I’ve carried Leathermans {hurts your hand when you use the pliers}, Gerber {would have been better had it been a Flip-Grip!, still love’em tho}, Swiss Army Knife {sorry, but I love MacGyver, but it just dosen’t go far enough}, Flip-Grips {I’m a Dumpster Diver by trade, and its been a life saver!} other than all that……..I’m quite happy with my Flip-Grip, Thank you very much.
    If by chance you have other opinions ’bout this, please feel free to write:
    ricHard Tymes

    {I love you Minneapolis, MN!!}

    • Hard Tymes says:

      As I was writing to someone about my multi-tool, IE: FlipGrip, I realized my post was dated Sept. 27th, 2007! I still have my trustly FlipGrip Multi-Tool and it’s in a hand crafted leather holster on my belt. I’ve had this tool for the last 6 Years! The only other multi-tool I would even think of carrying would be a GERBER Blunt Nose or a Leatherman. But since I do leather craft, I need a needle nose.
      I really have no complaints at this point.
      Richard ~~ Hard Tymes

  5. jennifer says:

    I can’t close it! any suggestions?

  6. ScottScott says:

    I purchased a set of these at a pep boys clearance table… 89 cents. I dont know if I would have paid more for them or not, but, I am happy with them for the price I paid. The blades lock on the knife part. The needle nose pliers meet up nice, but the larger pliers do not meet at the tip, so trying to pull a splinter would not work with it. The cover that holds the screwdriver bits is hard to open, I had to use another tool just to get it open. Overall, these are nice, but do not close flat like a leatherman. They stay in the pliars shape. I would not have bought them if they weren’t so cheap. I am very happy with them.

  7. Chris says:

    I think I saw these sold under a different name at a Home Hardware in Canada. I was going to buy a pair until I saw they were MADE in CHINA. Anyone else have that aversion? I do have a pair of regulare flip grips that I found broken in a car at a wrecking yard. The store manager was kind enough to replace them (they did after all have a lifetime warranty). Tey aren’t bad but not up to the quality of my other pliers (Klein, Xcelite, Craftsman, Canadian Tire),

  8. Curtis says:

    To Jennifer – assuming you mean you can’t close the knife and/or other flipup tools. The only one that doesn’t lock open is the saw w/ the rounded head, with that closed if you push down on it the other tools that are locked open will now be unlocked for closing.
    To ScottScott – I had the same complaint when I first got mine but after a while it will loosen up and you can access it with your finger tip.

  9. frankenstein says:

    I been try to close the knife for 3days now so thanx curtis….jennifer don’t feel dumb ur not the only 1 now…lol

  10. Jennie says:

    There’s a doo-hickey that says “This latch should always be in the “down” position before pliers are used.” I can see no purpose for its ever being “up”.

    On the opposite handle is a piece that sticks out and looks like it’s to pry something, but I don’t see any use for that either! A Phillip’s screwhead would be nice, but awfully fat to try to fit in.

  11. Say What says:

    Thanks Curtis, I would’ve poked my eye out without your advice on how to close those blades down. A thousand thank you’s.

  12. Mr. Chao says:

    Perfect for line maintenance. It saved me a lot of trip to the toolbox. Three holsters and 6 years later, I’m still using it for work. The variety of tools is amazing not even leatherman can match. I love the bit holder.

  13. Joe America says:

    The original flip grip is made in the USA, not China. It’s the real deal, stronger and more user friendly than the Leatherman, or any other vaiation on this theme. Other, similar tools, that aren’t crap, or from China, cost $25-50, so Filpgrip is a well made steal, if you get the USA version. When you’re out and in a pinch, without any other tools, this unit is a life saver.

  14. Tyler says:

    I got this as a Christmas gift around the time I was 12 or 13, I saw them advertised on TV and thought it was the neatest tool around…Whenever I would help my dad out around the house or shop on weekends, or when we needed to do some work at the cottage, I would strap the Flipgrip to my belt.

    For awhile, it sat in my toolbox, then for another little while it came with me to work as a maint. man at a daycare centre, then it went onto my toolbelt, because instead of taking up 2 pockets with needlenose and regular pliers, I only needed 1 pocket for the flipgrip….The tools have since siezed-up, and when I last pried them out with my Leatherman they all cumped together…But I’ve got a Benchmark Retract-A-Bit and an Olfa Knife on the belt, so I’m not too concerned about that.

    Last I used it, I was going to tie a chimney cover onto my grandfather’s chimney with some haywire. While I was waiting up on the roof, I spent time flipping it from one head to the other, so not only is it a useful tool, it’s also damnwell amusing when you got a few minutes to kill.

  15. David Vaughan says:

    Help – I need a replacement holster for mine. I have worn out the stitching on the beltloop and I can’t carry it with me any longer. Where do I go to get one?

  16. Davi Finkelstein says:

    Thanks to Curtis I can close this very useful tool.

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